Here is a list of what's new in video stores this weekend and a partial schedule of what's coming on video. Release dates are subject to change.
JUST OUT: Phenomenon, Tales From the Crypt: Bordello of Blood, She's the One, The White Balloon.
TUESDAY: Alaska, Escape From L.A., Eddie, Manny & Lo, Killer: A Journal of Murder, The Pompatus of Love.
JAN. 28: Il Postino (The Postman), Dead Man, The Fan, Kansas City, The Trigger Effect.
FEB. 4: Jack, Bogus, Bambi, Girl's Town, The Big Squeeze.
FEB. 11: Trainspotting, First Kid, Grace of My Heart, A Very Brady Sequel, Fly Away Home, Feeling Minnesota.
Here are reviews from Roger Ebert and other critics of some recent video releases:
PHENOMENON (**1/2, PG) John Travolta is transformed into a genius on his 37th birthday, becoming an inspiration to some, prey to others and a pariah to his townsfolk. With Kyra Sedgwick, Robert Duvall and Forest Whitaker.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT: BORDELLO OF BLOOD (R) Dennis Miller, Angie Everhart, Corey Feldman and Chris Sarandon star in this horror comedy.
SHE'S THE ONE (**, R) A romantic comedy with unnecessarily serious undertones, from Edward Burns, whose The Brothers McMullen came out of Sundance to win large audiences in 1995. Now he gives us the Brothers Fitzpatrick; he plays a cab driver who marries a passenger (Maxine Bahns) after a 24-hour courtship; his brother (Mike McGlone) is torn between his wife (Jennifer Aniston) and a mistress (Cameron Diaz). Dad (John Mahoney) is a salt-of-the-earth type who encourages the lads to put on the gloves and step into the back yard to settle their differences.
KINGPIN (*, R) From the makers of Dumb and Dumber and, believe it or not, even dumber. Randy Quaid is a naive Amish bowler and Woody Harrelson his handler in a comedy without a single watchable frame.
FLED (**1/2, R) Two cons, one black, one white, escape in shackles from a chain gang. There are many links to The Defiant Ones and other buddy-action movies, but this is enjoyable, escapist entertainment given some needed class by Laurence Fishburne.
WELCOME TO THE DOLL HOUSE (***1/2, R) Todd Solondz's excruciatingly funny chronicle of the humiliation and torment heaped on geeky Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo), an 11-year-old struggling with self-loathing and the loathing of her peers and parents. A dark, sharply observed comedy.
A TIME TO KILL (**1/2, R) The latest John Grisham adaptation takes the apartheid-movie approach and tells a black tragedy from a white perspective. Samuel L. Jackson plays a father who takes revenge on the men who raped his 10-year-old daughter. His trial is undermined by histrionics and thuggery outside the courtroom.
THE STUPIDS (PG-13) Idiocy reigns in this Tom Arnold comedy.
A FAMILY THING (PG-13) Burdened with a feeble title, this engrossing film stars Robert Duvall as a Southerner in his 60s who suddenly discovers that his mother was black and that James Earl Jones is his half brother. A fine piece of restrained direction by Richard Pearce and a scene-stealing performance by Irma P. Hall.
THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (**, R) This latest version of H.G. Wells' 100-year-old tale makes no case for an update. Moreau's crazed crossbreeding of man and beast is an experiment in progress. So is the script, and John Frankenheimer can't resolve its inconsistencies and excesses.
THE FRIGHTENERS (*1/2, R) Inane and lifeless serving of horror and comedy with ghostly humor that's mostly ghastly. Michael J. Fox is a psychic investigator probing murder and life's cosmic questions - including why he agreed to participate in all this silliness.
JOE'S APARTMENT (R) Jerry O'Connell, Don Ho and singing cockroaches in a comedy from MTV.
TIN CUP (**1/2, R) Sports-obsessed filmmaker Ron Shelton hits the golf course in this likable but way too long romantic comedy starring Kevin Costner as a has-been pro and Rene Russo as the lady in his life. With Don Johnson and Cheech Marin.
MATILDA (**1/2, PG) Director/co-star Danny DeVito's cartoonish adaptation of Roald Dahl's book about a super-smart girl tormented by her parents and her principal is a strange thing: a revenge movie and a comedy about child abuse. Mara Wilson, in the title role, redeems the crassness with a beaming, wideeyed performance.
THE ROCK (***, PG-13)A haywire Ed Harris takes over Alcatraz and threatens to hit San Francisco with nerve gas in this slick offering set in a prison. Enjoyable, turbo-charged filmmaking pits Sean Connery against Nicolas Cage.
THE CABLE GUY (**1/2, PG-13) Jim Carrey stars in this psychocomedy about an obsessive cable TV installer stalking his customer (Matthew Broderick). There are genuinely riotous moments, but as the Ben Stiller-directed film progresses the tone gets sicker and the plot more predictable.
THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS (**, R) Vincent Perez takes a turn as Ashe, the avenging spirit, in the action-thriller based on the adult comic book series.
THE FLOWER OF MY SCENT (***, R) Pedro Almodovar rebounds from some recent misfires with an uncharacteristically mellow and generous portrait of a romance novelist whose own love life is a riotous shambles.
DRAGONHEART (**1/2, PG-13) Twentieth Century computer wizardry brings life to a 10th-century talking dragon with a Scottish accent, courtesy of Sean Connery.
INDEPENDENCE DAY (***, PG13) In this carefully calibrated crowd-rouser, the Fly and the Artist Formerly Known as Fresh Prince save the planet. Jeff Goldblum is a computer hacker and Will Smith a Marine fighter pilot in this disarming Armageddon story, which comes off as a greatest-hits compilation of every action and sci-fi movie made.
KAZAAM (*1/2, PG) The incredible money Shaquille O'Neal makes in the NBA is one reason to stick with his regular job. This woeful comedy is an even better one. He plays a rap-spouting genie in a picture that has more to do with merchandising than movie-making.
STRIPTEASE (**1/2, R) Strip away the seductive hype, and the issue is not what Demi Moore takes off but what is taken out of Carl Hiassen's hilarious novel. Low comedy replaces pinpoint satire as Ms. Moore becomes a stripper to raise money in an ugly custody fight for her daughter. Spasmodically amusing but more erratic than erotic.
PHANTOM (**, PG) A flat-footed, pseudo-campy adventure based on the Lee Falk comic strip about a mysterious masked avenger who rides through the jungles in purple tights. Billy Zane stars, giving line readings that are less deadpan than dead on arrival.
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